How to Get Rid of Roaches Without an Exterminator

Roach infestation can be a persistent problem that may be difficult to eradicate. People often hire exterminators, but they can be expensive and negatively affect your home, loved ones, and the environment.

There are several ways to get rid of roaches without calling an exterminator. This includes using vinegar, baking soda, or essential oils like clove or peppermint that can instantly repel roaches. 

Most exterminators use dangerous chemicals that can adversely affect you or your pets when inhaled or accidentally ingested. People also don’t like the idea of strangers wandering all over your house, looking for spaces where the insects are most likely to hide.

How to get rid of roaches without an exterminator

You can utilize natural roach killers and repellents when an exterminator is not an option. Some methods are quick to learn and require little technical know-how to execute. However, it is crucial to exercise care when dealing with potentially hazardous chemicals such as insecticides or powdered poison.

Here are 7 ways how to get rid of roaches without an exterminator:

1. Use a baking soda/sugar mixture

A mixture of baking soda and sugar can help control roaches within your house. Naturally, roaches tend to avoid baking soda and not consider it a food item. However, if you can add some bait, you can entice the insects into consuming the product.

Roaches have a strong affinity for sugar and are likely to consume it at every chance. Mixing baking soda and sugar provides the perfect balance as the two products are difficult for the insects to differentiate. After ingestion, the baking soda causes their abdomens to swell and burst instantly,, killing them.

The mixture takes about 15 hours to work.  A baking soda and sugar combination is an ideal choice when preventing a roach infestation since its key ingredients are easy to access and have no health implications for humans, pets, and the environment.

Instead of calling an exterminator the next time you see one of these insects scurrying around, try eliminating them using a baking soda and sugar solution. It’s much cheaper, convenient, and provides an easy DIY long-term solution to your roach problem.

2. Use Diatomaceous Earth to repel roaches

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring compound made of fossilized algae sediments. The compound is high in silica and can be found in many different parts of the world. 

With relative ease, you can use diatomaceous earth to eradicate high concentrations of roaches from your space. Purchase the product from a reliable vendor and spread the dust under your dishwasher, cabinet floors, wall edges, and other high bug traffic areas of your house.

Diatomaceous earth works by sticking to an insect’s exoskeleton, causing it to break down and melt. You can also mix diatomaceous earth with bait and feed it to the roaches. Some roaches may also carry the chemical to their hiding spots, where more insects are likely to contact the compound.

Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic to pets and humans. Besides, the compound is readily accessible in most dealerships at an affordable price. The chemical takes about 24 hours to kill roaches, but the result is best seen after about 5 days.

3. Clean dirty surfaces with vinegar or bleach

Dirt surfaces are a magnet for roaches and other pesky insects within your home. Roaches are attracted to greasy food, cutlery, wet cardboard, etc. Dirty kitchens are more prone to roach infestations considering the areas have food storage compartments and other appliances that can easily harbor the pests.

It’s recommended to clean dirty surfaces with vinegar. The compound is especially effective when dealing with grease and oil stains on floors and dishes and when cleaning appliances such as dishwashers and cookers where roaches are likely to hide. Vinegar also produces a strong smell that can help repel roaches from your space.

The procedure for using vinegar or roaches largely depends o what you are cleaning. For instance, mix ½ cup of distilled white vinegar with a gallon of water when cleaning a floor. 

When cleaning a dishwasher, fill a safe bowl with one cup of vinegar and place it inside your appliance. Set the dishwasher to run on hot (to remove grime, scum, and other roach-attracting substances).

Regular cleaning with vinegar not only keeps your space free of dirt and roaches but also acts as a disinfectant and keeps you from hiring an exterminator.

4. Use a bottle trap

Bottle traps are an easy DIY solution for preventing roaches and insects from invading your space. The traps are extremely effective when handling small numbers of roaches, but you might need to combine them with other methods when dealing with large populations within your space.

Bottle traps combine ingenuity with readily available materials to create a lure to help you contain cockroaches without calling an exterminator. 

Most bottle traps use plastic bottles and petroleum jelly to create a homemade containment mechanism for the insects. Simply cut the bottle to the point where it rounds to its full width and applies petroleum jelly inside the top half of the bottle.

You can also place bait on the bottom part of your trap to attract the roaches. Try something with a strong smell, such as sugar or peanut butter, and strategically place the trap(s) on spaces where insects are most likely to pass through.

Bottle traps can have a long useful life and are safe for the rest of the family. Besides, the traps make a fun family pastime for you to engage with your kids.

5. Essential Oils to repel roaches

Natural essential oils are a great way to keep roaches from infesting your house. You can find a variety of plants and packaged products that contain roach-repelling oils such as rosemary, thyme, lavender, peppermint, etc. 

Although humans find the oils appealing and soothing, roaches find their smell distasteful and tend to stay away from areas with such scents. You can repel roaches by regularly spraying the oils on the insects or spaces they frequently pass through. 

Using essential oils not only leaves your space feeling and smelling fresh, but they are also an effective deterrence against roach infestations. The oils are harmless to your family and pets and can be a better alternative to an exterminator. For example, essential oil like clove can kill roaches and repel them.

6. Use boric acid

Boric acid is a naturally occurring compound with various uses within your space. The product is a popular ingredient in detergents, soap, fertilizers, etc. You can use boric acid to keep roach populations in check.

Boric acid works by clinging to the hairs on cockroach legs and abdomen as the insect scurries around your house. Roaches use their mouths to clean themselves and might occasionally ingest dirt and other specks. Once ingested, boric acid affects the insect’s nervous and digestive system causing the insect to die.

Boric acid takes about 72 hours to kill roaches. Although it is not as quick as other pesticides, the chemical is highly effective when used correctly. Simply spread the acid on high-traffic areas such as wall edges, cabinet floors, and other spaces where the insects are likely to pass through.

Using boric acid can help you save on costs and keep roaches away from your home without calling an exterminator.

7. Use garlic 

Garlic has strong roach-repellent qualities that you can adopt to help you keep insects away from your home. Garlic has a strong odor that roaches don’t like; crushing a few garlic cloves and playing them strategically along walls and other spaces where roaches are likely to hide can help to keep them away from sensitive areas such as your food storage cabinets or inside sinks.

The only downside to using garlic is that it does not kill the roaches but keeps them from entering your home. Garlic provides a natural and cost-effective way of repelling roaches and other pesky insects from your home without hiring exterminator services. Besides, garlic has plenty of other additional uses. You can use it as a food additive, to clean skin, etc.

Final thoughts

Some homeowners consider it much cheaper to purchase roach elimination chemicals and work on the eradication process without outside help. Unless you are dealing with a considerable roach infestation, hiring an exterminator is unnecessary. Besides, plenty of remedies control the cockroach population within your space.

Most pesticides like Raid or Demon Max can kill roaches without any challenges. This can also help in preventing an infestation without the need to use an exterminator.

There are plenty of natural solutions when dealing with a roach problem. Most of these alternatives use common products readily found within your home that you probably didn’t know were useful to repel and eliminate roaches.

Natural eliminators use easy-to-find alternatives when dealing with roaches and other bugs at home.

Eradicating roaches from your home can be challenging, especially if you handle the task without hiring a professional exterminator. Most people refrain from exterminator services for various reasons. This ranges from the additional costs incurred, poisonous contents, or their effects on the environment.


  • Felix Odi

    Hi, I’m an experienced author and content creator with over 18 years of experience as a publisher. Growing up in rural areas of Bristol, FL, I developed an interest in pest control, fish farming, and poultry keeping. Farming is a main activity in the area, and pests are always part of our major setbacks. I had to learn how to get rid of them with simple DIYs.